PATIENTS in a borough will be able to make GP appointments after the rollout of a new online app.

All GP practices in Blackburn with Darwen are now offering myGP which will allow patients to book and cancel appointments.

Patients can also use the app's self care support tools to monitor weight and blood pressure.

Commissioners have said the app will help free up doctors' time and save the NHS money.

The app hasn't been rolled out across the rest of East Lancashire yet.

But Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voice Group questioned the effectiveness of the app.

He said: "I'm cautiously optimistic that this new app will make the system for booking appointments easier and more efficient.

"However, I can't see how it will make more appointments or free up doctors time as there will be the same number of appointments being made, just in a different way.

"There are also a lot of elderly people in the borough who will not use it."

The app will allow patients to register remotely and once signed up, they can book and cancel appointments, set medication reminders and make use of a secure instant messaging service.

Dr Hereward Brown, a GP at Limefield Surgery in Blackburn, welcomed the app.

He said: “I am delighted that all GP practices in the borough now offer myGP. The response from patients using it has been very good.

“myGP is a very simple way of interacting with your practice. It complements the many other ways people can do so. "

Dr Amanda Thornton, digital health clinical lead for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, a partnership of health and care organisations,said: "Some 86 per cent of households now have internet access, 82 per cent of people go online every day and 72 per cent of adults use a smartphone.

“Our digital strategy aims to embrace these changes and provide residents with easy to use solutions to give them more control over their health and care."

Cllr Brian Taylor, assistant executive member for health and wellbeing at Blackburn with Darwen Council, added: "The council is fully supportive of tapping into the potential of new technology to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.”

The app is available to download for smartphones from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.